From Software games don’t generally skimp on putting players through their paces even early on, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice doesn’t hold back on the difficulty, either. There are several super-tough mid-boss enemies even early on in Ashina Outskirts, the first area through which players venture once they’ve gained the Shinobi Prosthetic. At multiple points on the road to Gyoubu the Demon, the game’s first big boss, you’ll face extremely tough enemies who will likely thrash you just as hard. It’s especially tough if you haven’t found some of the best early game prosthetics.
One of the first major enemies you’ll have to take down is the Chained Ogre, a red-eyed monster locked into a wooden pillory. Sekiro is good about giving you hints on how to defeat bosses and mid-bosses like the Ogre if you’re eavesdropping and paying attention, but knowing what to do and actually doing it are two different things. Defeating the Ogre is the last major hurdle before you reach Gyoubu, and will earn you Prayer Beads, which can make you stronger for the fight ahead.
The trick to beating the Ogre is being fast on your feet, and being willing to disengage if you need to. You can also get an edge with the right Shinobi Prosthetic, the Flame Vent, but it’s pretty easy to miss. Here’s everything you need to know about taking down the Ogre and getting ready for your big fight with Gyoubu.
You might also want to read up on how death impacts Sekiro, and take a look at our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice review.
Clearing The Battlefield
You’ll find the Ogre in the Ashina Outskirts area, in the Outskirts Wall–Stairway section. Before doing anything else, clear the area at the base of the stairs so that no other enemies are around to interrupt you. Try to get good at taking them out stealthily to keep your health up, and don’t be afraid to retreat to the Idol Statue nearby if you need to try again. In fact, keep that opportunity to reset in mind, because it can help you keep your death count down as you learn the fight.
Bring The Flame Vent
Red-eyed enemies like the Ogre are basically berserkers, unfazed by your attacks. That mostly means you’ll need to do a lot of dodging and slicing away in between the Ogre’s attacks. You can get some breathing room to heal or attack, though, if you have fire. Red-eyed enemies fear flames, and you can find a Shinobi Prosthetic tool early in the game that produces a jet of fire that will briefly stagger the Ogre and give you the upper hand. It’s easy to miss, though.
You’ll need to go to the Hirata Estate level to find the Flame Vent. In the area before the Stairway, the Gate Path, look for an old woman in a blasted-out house. If you talk to her and let her believe you’re her son, she’ll give you a bell to use as an offering. Take it to the Dilapidated Temple and use it on the Buddha statue near the Sculptor to access the Hirata Estate level. You can use our guide to find the Flame Vent prosthetic–bring it back to the Sculptor to get it fitted for your fight with the Ogre.
The Flame Vent isn’t essential to beating the Ogre, and it won’t do extra damage to it. The tool can be very useful for emergencies, though, like when you need to get the Ogre to back off or when a couple extra hits will bring it down.
Get A Backstab
You can’t approach the Ogre with stealth, since there’s only one way up the stairs toward it, and it’ll see you coming. But you can try to get behind it for a quick backstab deathblow, which can reduce the difficulty of the fight by about half right out of the gate. To get there, hold down the dodge button to make the Wolf sprint and try to get up behind the Ogre before he manages to break free of his bonds. It’s tough to get there in time, but the backstab is worth it if you can manage it.
Dodge The Grabs
The Ogre hits hard with all its abilities, but its grabs attacks are the worst ones. These are marked by the red symbol that denotes an unblockable attack. If you get grabbed, the Ogre will deal a massive amount of damage you can’t avoid, and likely will kill you. The only way to avoid the Ogre’s grab attacks is to use the Step Dodge ability, and you’ll need to keep your distance in general–he’ll do a diving grab move that can get you even if you step back, so make sure you’re going sideways when possible, and give yourself ample room to escape.
The good news is that if you can avoid a grab, you’ll get a chance to wail on the Ogre for a few seconds. The bad news is that you’ll probably need to get wrecked by this move once or twice to get a feel for the timing.
Grapple For Big Hits
A lot of the time when the Ogre plows past you, you’ll get opportunities for snagging its wooden collar with your grapple. Use those chances–you’ll get in close for a few big attacks, and it’s good practice for a tactic you’re going to use a lot when you fight Gyoubu soon enough. If you can unlock it, you’ll should also grab the Grapple Hook Attack ability from the Shinobi Martial Arts skill tree. That’ll let you swing in and do some damage before you even hit the ground.
Don’t Be Afraid To Flee
The area around the Ogre has a bunch of key grapple points for a reason. The game is providing you with a bunch of escape hatches so you can stop the fight, take a second to breathe, and get your bearings. The battle with the Chained Ogre is as much a tutorial as anything else you’ve faced up to now, giving you the tools to deal with a big, tough enemy, while also teaching you that the tactics you’ve used in other fights still apply. If you’re getting pummeled or just having a hard time, grapple up onto a tree or onto the nearby gate and take a second to reassess the fight. It’s also a handy way to get a chance to use a healing item without worrying you’re about to get smashed for letting your guard down.
Deflect, Deflect, Deflect
Apart from his big grabs, the Ogre’s attacks looks scarier than they actually are–and you can deflect all of them. That includes his big drop kick move, his stompy feet attacks, and his attempts to kick you across the field like a football. Just because the Ogre isn’t using a sword doesn’t mean you can’t block them, and you definitely should be. Keep your guard up to avoid a lot of incoming damage, and to give yourself openings to attack.
You can also dodge most or all of the Ogre’s attacks to give yourself a chance at getting in close to land some blows. The drop kick move is especially easy to slip around, giving you a chance to cut away and clear out some of the Ogre’s vitality. Blocking will help you break its posture sooner, though, so while Souls and Bloodborne players might feel like dodging is the right move, it’s actually slowing down your ability to win the fight. Break the Ogre’s posture and grab your deathblows for the win.